Date of Award

Summer 8-2010

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Emily Bullock

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Eric Dahlen

Committee Member 3 Department



Considerable research has been focused on how career decision self-efficacy is related to constructs such as certainty (Betz, Klein, & Taylor, 1996), fear of commitment (Betz & Sterling, 1993), and adaptive career beliefs (Luzzo & Day, 1999). The purpose of this study was to identify relationships among career-specific barriers in the career decision-making process, specifically regarding dysfunctional career thoughts, perfectionism, and career decision self-efficacy in a sample of 300 undergraduate students. Results of the study included: (a) a positive relationship between overall perfectionism and dysfunctional career thinking; (b) a negative relationship between dysfunctional career thoughts and career decision self-efficacy; (c) dysfunctional thinking was higher among maladaptive perfectionists than either adaptive perfectionists or non-perfectionists, further, non-perfectionists endorsed more dysfunctional thoughts than adaptive perfectionists; (d) adaptive perfectionists had higher career decision self-efficacy than maladaptive perfectionists and non-perfectionists and further, maladaptive perfectionists endorsed less career decision self-efficacy than non-perfectionists; and (e) perfectionism and dysfunctional career thoughts predicted significant variance in career decision self-efficacy. It is suggested that interventions that address maladaptive perfectionism and negative career thinking may potentially enhance a client's confidence in decision making. Implications for important future research and study limitations are also presented.